Sunday, June 16It's All About Jesus

Mbappé suffers the final failure of PSG



PSG remains one level below the elite. They have lost all four games of their two-legged Champions League semi-finals in the QSI era, against Manchester City in 2020-21 and now against Dortmund in 2023-24.

This failure will hurt him especially, since he failed to score against the fifth-place team in the Bundesliga despite having made 44 shots in two games. It is the most shots a team has taken without scoring in a two-legged Champions League tie since Opta records began in 2003-04.

They hit the post six times in the tie, four of them in the second half in Paris. Warren Zaire-Emery was penalized for attempting to hit the post with the goal open while Mats Hummels headed home to score for Dortmund shortly after.

Nuno Mendes hit the post from distance, before both Mbappé and Vitinha hit the crossbar in the final minutes.

It is yet another example of PSG lacking quality when it matters most in the Champions League, and its biggest names – Mbappé, in this case – failing to deliver when it matters most.

“You have to give a lot of credit to Dortmund, they didn’t let Mbappe go one-on-one,” Ferdinand said.

“But great players usually find a moment.”

There are some positive signs for PSG. They have shown impressive fighting spirit to get this far in the 2023-24 Champions League, especially in recovering from a 4-1 defeat at Newcastle in the group stage.

A Mbappé penalty in the 98th minute snatched a point from the first leg against the Magpies, which proved decisive in securing them second place in Group F, behind Dortmund but ahead of AC Milan.

They then launched a remarkable comeback in the second leg to beat Barcelona in the quarterfinals, displaying a mix of silk and steel in the image of their coach Luis Enrique.

He is clearly making plans for the future. At 24 years and 157 days, PSG had the youngest starting XI for a Champions League semi-final match since Arsenal in their return match against Manchester United in 2008-09.

“I’m happy with what I saw from my team,” Luis Enrique said in the post-match press conference. “A true spirit. A team that gave everything.

“The fans were incredible. I hope we have this union in the future. Players who sweat for the shirt.”

A new era dawns at PSG. It remains to be seen whether he can avoid the failures of the past.

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